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NDTOA Meritorious Award

In 2020 the NDTOA Board of Directors established the Meritorious Service Award to be given by the Board of Directors, at their discretion, to a current or former elected township official that has served their constituents in exemplary fashion.

At the 54th Annual Meeting December 7, 2020, the NDTOA Board of Directors bestowed the first ever Meritorious Service Award upon Ralph Olson in recognition of his many years of service to his township and NDTOA.  Click here to see all past Meritorious Award Recipients

2021 NDTOA Meritorious Service Award

Presented to


Grassroots Leadership Award

“Grassroots Award Nomination” form - Click here

In 1987, NDTOA established the Mr. Township Award which was dedicated to the founder of our organization – Hank Weber of Casselton, North Dakota.  The name of the award was later changed to the Grassroots Leadership Award to recognize the many female township officers in our state.

This award was presented to a township officer who, through his or her actions, had served their township, their community and/or their state with exceptional service.

The first recipient was Jim Braaten from Crary, Ramsey County, in 1987. Click here to see all past Mr. Township/Grassroots Leadership Award recipients.

2021 Grassroots Leadership Award:

Marvin Heller from Berthold Township in Ward County has served his Township for many years, for more than 20 years serving as its chairman. He has always performed above and beyond his duties working on road and sign maintenance, weed control and roadside mowing.

During and after the 2011 flood he was instrumental in securing FEMA relief for all the damages to roads and culverts that Berthold Township suffered. Taking pictures and doing the necessary paperwork to insure reimbursement for the expenses.

Congratulations, Marvin and thank you for a job well done!

Marvin Heller


Legislator of the Year Award
Legislative success requires friends in the legislative arena. This award program was established to reward, on an annual basis, one of those legislators who have been of great help to the NDTOA.

These awards are given at the annual meeting awards banquet. Each winner has a chance to be recognized in the presence of as many township officers as are assembled at the annual meeting and convention. The award recipient is given a plaque and are invited to address the NDTOA membership.

The qualifications to receive this award depend on if the legislator has been a repeated sponsor, co-sponsor or defended in committee or on the floor of their house, township endorsed bills.

Senator David O’Connell, a township officer from the Lansford area, was the first award winner. Click here to see all past Legislator of the Year recipients.

2021 Legislator of the Year:
Representative Dave Nehring named NDTOA Legislator of the Year for 2021.

In his first session in the legislature, Representative Nehring hit the ground running. He introduced or co-sponsored several bills to the benefit of grassroots government and rural citizens in general. He was also instrumental in NDTOA efforts to support or oppose several other bills that would affect townships.

Representative Nehring serves District 8 which includes parts of Burleigh and Mclean Counties. He is on the Industry, Business, and Labor Committee as well as the Political Subdivisions Committee.

He has a long history of service: ND Game and Fish Advisory Board; Burleigh County Weed Board; Former Director, ND EMS Association; Former City Council, Bowbells ND; Former Supervisor, Apple Creek Township; Chapter Chair, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation; Habitat Committee Chair, Pheasants Forever.

Originally from Bowbells ND, he and his wife Jeri have two children.

Representative Dave Nehring


NDTOA President's Award
In 2016, the NDTOA Board of Directors created the President's Award as a way to recognize exemplary contribution by individuals that are not elected officials.  Willie Huot, Grand Forks, was the first award winner. Click here to see all past Presidents Award recipients.

2021 President's Award:
Julie Ellingson receives the NDTOA President’s Award for 2021.

The NDTOA President’s Award may be given to someone that is not a Township Officer but has contributed in some outstanding way to the goals of NDTOA. This year the award went, very deservingly, to Julie Ellingson of St. Anthony. Julie was at the core of a group of associations that supported the drive for township road funding in the 67th legislative session. Her artwork creating an 8.5 by 11-inch glossy handout for each member of the House of Representatives was very impressive and likely secured several votes. Julie is the Executive Vice President of the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association.

Julie Ellingson


Mr. Township / Grassroots Leadership Award recipients
Click on underlined names to view award details




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Revised: Sunday March 19, 2023